Despite rapid growth of its population, from an estimated 90 million people in 1980 to more than 160 million people today, Bangladesh has achieved impressive progress in food production and has become virtually self-sufficient in rice production. At the same time the country has experienced rapid economic growth lifting many people out of extreme poverty. Notwithstanding these developments, food insecurity and undernourishment have remained at unacceptably high levels for a large part of the population.
The low purchasing power of households with low and unstable sources of income is one of the main reasons why households lack access to food. Rural households with irregular incomes are the most food insecure households in Bangladesh. Members of these households have poor and unbalanced diets. Particularly women and children are most affected by food insecurity.
To improve this situation, the country needs to tackle the issues around availability of food, access to food and the use of food and deal with it in such a way as to ensure their stability, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that diets of all its citizens are adequate. Food security is a human right; it increases the physical and intellectual capabilities of people and gives them better health during their lives. This will also benefit the economy.